Colleen van Lent

715 N. University Ave. Office #201C Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1600
Are you looking for an override to register for one of my classes?
  • I am teaching SI106 and SI339 in Fall 2022. I am not teaching SI539.
  • The registrar handles all override requests from the waitlist. If you are a non-UMSI student looking to get on the waitlist see this link for the registrar
  • For 339 in-person attendance at lecture and discussion will be required.
  • For 106 in-person attendance will be required for the discussion sections and for exams during lecture

Good luck to everyone finishing up the semester.

I am a Lecturer IV in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. I focus on the introductory programming courses such as Programs, Information and People (SI 106) and the Web Design Courses Web Design, Development, and Accessibility (SI 339) and Web Design: Responsiveness and Accessibility (SI 539).

My previous jobs include Associate Professor at California State University and positions at NASA JPL, the Naval Research Lab, and the NSA. I received my BS from Kent State University Honors College in Computer Science, and an MS and PhD from the University of Pittsburgh, also in Computer Science. My thesis was on Artificial Intelligence applications on the Nursebot Project, a robotic assistant for the elderly.

My honors include being chosen as a National Physical Sciences Consortium Fellow and a NASA Faculty Fellow. I have always emphasized the idea of technology for everybody. To that I have worked to create courses for education majors to learn robotics, as well other CS curriculum for non-majors. Her current focus is outreach with elementary and middle school students to learn problem-solving, coding, and design. I have published three recent books for children, "Web Design with HTML" and more "Web Design with HTML" and "Making a Web Page" (co-authored with my son).

2022 Fall Teaching Schedule

SI 339

Web Design, Development, and Accessibility

Tentative Fall 2022 Syllabus

This course provides a hands-on approach to learning responsive, accessible front-end programming for Web Design. Topics covered include HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, jQueary and the POUR design principles of accessible design. Backend web-development will also be introduced.
339 Official course listing

Note, this course is being offered in-person. While letures will be recorded, regular attendance will be required. There will be frequent in-class assessments.

Mondays 8:30am-10:00am
Aud C in Angell Hall

SI 106

Programs, Information and People

Introduction to programming with a focus on applications in informatics. Covers the fundamental elements of a modern programming language and how to access data on the internet. Explores how humans and technology complement one another, including techniques used to coordinate groups of people working together on software development.
106 Official course listing

Note, while letures will be recorded, discussion will require frequent in-person attendance.

Mondays 2:30 - 4:00PM
Aud B in Angell Hall

Contact Hours for Fall 2022

Office Hours:
I try to keep my office hours as consistent as possible, but there are times I need to reschedule. Please check my Google Calendar for the most up-to-date times and locations.


In 2015 I launched a 5 course specialization for Coursera - "Web Design for Everybody" (Basics of Web Development and Coding) Specialization. This Specialization covers how to write syntactically correct HTML5 and CSS3, and how to create interactive web experiences with JavaScript. Learning about this range of technologies will get you started on the path of learning how to develop high quality web sites that, work seamlessly on mobile, tablet, and large screen browsers accessible. I introduce the idea of accessible design for a wide audience, including those with visual, audial, physical, and cognitive impairments.

My motivation for creating this course content was to spread the mission of free education to everyone. Unfortunately, many of the platform changes has put the material behind paywells. I highly encourage students to take the courses individually (rather than as a specialization) to access them for free. Even then, some of the assignments may be hidden. I am hoping to launch a new more open version in Fall 2018.

Because there are so many students it is absolutely impossible for me to answer email or become Facebook friends with students. Coursera has set up the platform that students can get help through the forums. I realize that you may not get help the first or second time you post for assistance, but it will come!! Please make sure to help your fellow students at the same time as well.


Those of us in academia have ridiculously long CVs. I have included an abridged version here.


This is a non-comprehensive list of some of my favorite accessibility resources.